EDITORIAL: Won’t somebody think of the chickens?

Observer editor Adam Louis brainstorms new advertising slogans

Now that “Finger Lickin’ Good” is on hold, maybe there are better slogans out there. (Black Press File Photo)

I don’t want to talk about coronavirus this week. I don’t want to talk about social media this week. I have to, given the times we live in and the topic I’d like to address. Let the record show I do so reluctantly yet willingly.

Not so long ago, my colleagues at Black Press posted an article about Kentucky Fried Chicken suspending their “It’s Finger Lickin’ Good!” slogan during the pandemic. It seems an unnecessary and not especially helpful move for two reasons. For one, we’re several months deep into a worldwide pandemic, so why start now? For another, stepping back, I recognize this as only a publicity move that made me laugh in that mild, exhale-through-your-nose kind of way.

It was a well-intended gesture, if a bit ill-timed. Like so many larger corporate efforts to address modern social issues, ultimately, unless it’s backed by action and appropriate change, it’s another form of advertising. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with that, but let’s just call it what it is.

RELATED: KFC suspends ‘It’s Finger Lickin’ Good’ slogan amid COVID-19 pandemic

I posted the relevant article onto our social media posing the following question: “Since “Finger Lickin’ Good” is out, what’s your KFC slogan? (Keep it PG. If you don’t mind.)”

I thought it would be just a bit of fun in the afternoon, and I love how creative the collective internet can be sometimes. What I should’ve been prepared for is what I received – mild annoyance to outrage.

“Oh brother,” one user groaned, rolling their eyes, probably.

“What’s wrong with finger-lickin’ good?” Another user piped up. “That’s what you do when you eat fried chicken! You lick your fingers!”

“Nothing wrong with it, but it offends the lefties,” a witty gentleman pointed out.

One person summed up their thoughts in a simple “Really!”

Have we really come to the point in the pandemic where cabin fever has become so severe we can’t just take this really odd move for being the silly little notion it is? Does it have to get political? Is it really that annoying in the grand scheme of things?

One could argue I’m getting just as worked up as the grumpy crowd before me, but in my defence, I’m worked up because they’re worked up. It’s different! Sort of.

So if they’re not going to come up with a new KFC slogan, here are some suggestions I submit to the court of public opinion:

KFC: It’s lip lickin’ good!

KFC: Pickin’ chicken never tasted so good

KFC: Beaks and feathers not included

KFC: Even chickens recommend us

KFC: Munch munch, chicken lunch (And it’s close cousin winner winner, chicken dinner)

KFC: Takes a lickin’, keeps on chicken (Timex might sue for this one. Strike this from the record)

RELATED: How many iconic KFC buckets still exist in B.C.?

I could go on, but writer’s block is a cruel mistress. Ask my wife, it’s been three days, and this is the best I came up with.

I’m not looking to leave my current position, pack my bags and hitchhike to Louisville for my all-but-secure, top-level position as head chicken marketer. No, the whole point of this column was to ask the general public to lighten up.

We have more than enough to worry about in our daily lives and looking at broader issues even beyond the coronavirus. I get it. It’s hard not to let the world weigh on your shoulders. It can be fun and “empowering” to gripe and complain. If we’re brutally honest with ourselves, some of us have made a comfort zone out of wallowing in worries. I struggle with this, too, but after years of practice, I’m getting better.

When the opportunity presents itself to laugh, have fun or just be apolitical and not so grumpy, embrace it. They can be kind of hard to come by.

And if you must lick, wash your fingers after.

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